A RECENT STUDY has found the Covid-19 and other similar strains of virus can survive on clothing for up to 72 hours.
Research carried out by De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester looked at the way coronavirus behaves on three different types of fabric commonly used in the healthcare industry.
Scientists discovered that the virus can stay alive on these fabrics and potentially transmit to other surfaces for longer than initially thought.
According to the study, the virus was shown to survive for around three days on polyester.
It also found that the virus lasted for around 24 hours on 100% cotton, while it only lasted for six hours on polycotton.
This is a particular concern as all three fabrics are used in hospitals and other places where people could be at serious risk.
"Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk for transmission of the virus," said Dr Katie Laird, head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at DMU.
"If nurses and healthcare workers take their uniforms home, they could be leaving traces of the virus on other surfaces.
"Once we had determined the survival rate of coronavirus on each of the textiles, we turned our attention to identifying the most reliable wash method for removing the virus.
"While we can see from the research that washing these materials at a high temperature, even in a domestic washing machine, does remove the virus, it does not eliminate the risk of the contaminated clothing leaving traces of coronavirus on other surfaces in the home or car before they are washed.
"This research has reinforced my recommendation that all healthcare uniforms should be washed on site at hospitals or at an industrial laundry.
"These wash methods are regulated and nurses and healthcare workers do not have to worry about potentially taking the virus home."